Mashed potatoes: quick, simple, reasonable, satisfying. At first glance, that would probably be most people’s entire take on what is one of the most universal of all dishes. However, that would be to criminally downplay its true value. What is more comforting than a bowl of steamy, creamy mashed potatoes on a cold, miserable evening?

The reality is that the dish is a victim of its own success. So popular and so tasty that we all forget to appreciate its essential qualities. Some might say that it can be too bland when prepared without care or love, or sometimes just too predictable. But if that is the worst that anyone can say, then help is at hand. We present ten variations on this classic dish that add new depth and surprising new flavours to elevate your perception of how mashed potatoes can taste.

To help us on this mission, we scouted the most intriguing recipe videos with easy-to-follow explanations on how to take your mashed potatoes to the next level.


This traditional Irish recipe is every bit as delicious as it is easy to make. Essentially ‘just’ mashed potatoes with scallions (spring onions), the video below gives a sense of the Irish connection with the dish and the contented pride it engenders. This may well be the ultimate cold weather comfort food…


Or did we talk too soon? For every impassioned lover of champ, you are also likely to find another convinced potato-lover telling you insistently that colcannon is every bit as good as champ and, whisper it, might even offer a bit more culinary magic. Most recipes for colcannon replace the scallion of champ with cabbage or kale, plus onion. We recommend trying both and deciding where your own loyalties lie. Here at American Express Essentials, we find both dishes impossible to resist…

Wasabi Mash

Yes, you read that right, wasabi. Wasabi mash takes the conventional velvety smoothness of mashed potato and gives it an invigorating injection of heat to surprise and stimulate the palate. In our featured video, Sam the Cooking Guy delivers the dish simply by stirring wasabi mayonnaise into his mashed potatoes, but look around and you will find a variety of takes on this unexpected dish.

Garlic Mash

Chances are that many readers will already have experimented with adding garlic to their mashed potatoes. However, for anyone not yet convinced by the idea, Chef Jean-Pierre offers a dangerously tempting take on the dish for the creamiest imaginable garlic mash, while also educating viewers on how to achieve the optimal mashed potato texture.

Rosemary & Parmesan Mash

If you’re now happy to join us on the garlic mash train, how about we dial things up a notch (or two) higher? Simply take your garlic and add rosemary and parmesan to the culinary party. Greg of the eponymous Greg’s Kitchen channel in Brisbane, Australia is fully convinced of the wisdom of this foodie combo, and if his enthusiastic reaction is anything to go by, then you just know that this dish lives up to all its promise and more.


We couldn’t share any culinary list without breaking the rules at least once to offer you a complete and utter surprise. Okay, are you sitting comfortably?

Cold. Mashed. Potatoes. There, we said it. Are you still with us? If you are, then we salute your innate fortitude and admire your culinary curiosity. Causa is a popular classic dish from Peru that comprises layers of cold, mildly spiced mashed potatoes with a filling such as tuna or chicken salad to create a layered sandwich effect, as explained below on the ever-inspiring Food Wishes channel.

‘Yunnan Grandma’s Mash’

We picked foodie power couple Steph and Chris, the Shenzhen-based owners of the popular Chinese Cooking Demystified channel, to illuminate the intricacies of Yunnan Grandma’s Mashed Potatoes. This vegan-friendly dish is packed with flavourful spices as well as pickled vegetables, which may sound fancy, but Steph and Chris promise viewers that the dish is easy to create at home.

Vada Pav

Vada pav is a salutary reminder that not all mashed potato is a destination in itself, often it is merely a starting point for an even more exciting culinary journey. This iconic Mumbai street food dish is essentially a spiced mashed potato patty that is deep-fried and served in a bread bun. Filling, comforting and mouth-watering, it offers all the qualities of the best street food. Don’t believe us? Then try it for yourself!

Bubble & Squeak

Another popular dish that plays with the possibilities of the humble mashed potato is Bubble and Squeak from the UK. At this point, we should note that the recipe most typically utilises surplus roast potatoes from Christmas dinner that are then crushed and combined with leftover vegetables to be served the day after Christmas. There are, however, a hardy few who advocate making Bubble and Squeak with mashed rather than roasted potatoes, as the video below illustrates.

Purée de Pommes de Terre

We finish where we started by taking ‘basic’ mashed potatoes to the highest imaginable level. Our featured video shows the engaging Alex of French Guy Cooking fame attempting to recreate the perfect purée de pommes de terre as described by legendary chef and restaurateur Joël Robuchon, who sadly passed away in 2018, but remains the epitome of haute cuisine. Are you willing to join Alex and take on the ultimate mashed potato challenge?

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